Fourth of July

Watermelon Campari Granita

June 27, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

To make a good granita, watermelon would normally need a little jolt of lime or lemon juice to make the flavor pop. But Campari is a more compelling way to do that job—and then some. Its bitter herbal flavor adds alluring complexity to the innocent watermelon. Put in another way: If watermelon were your date, Campari would make him (or her) much sexier. Try it. —Alice Medrich

What You'll Need
  • 8 cups (1200 grams) bite-size watermelon chunks (from a 5-pound watermelon)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (plus 1 tablespoon if the watermelon is not very sweet)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Campari, plus extra for drizzling
  • Whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, and/or sliced strawberries, for serving (optional)
  1. Purée the watermelon in batches in a food processor or blender. You should have 5 cups.
  2. Stir the sugar and Campari into the purée and let stand for 10 minutes to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Stir and pour the mixture into a shallow baking dish (such as a 9- by 13-inch).
  4. Cover the dish and put it in the freezer until the mixture is about 2/3 frozen, 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the dish.
  5. Use a fork to scrape and break the mixture into shards and crystals, then return the pan to the freezer.
  6. When completely frozen, scrape and toss the granita one more time. Keep frozen until serving. Serve plain or, if you like, with a little extra Campari drizzled over the top, with or without whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or ripe strawberries.

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My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).

1 Review

mevans July 29, 2021
I live in New Orleans, and watermelon granita is my favorite go-to for an easy, light, cooling dessert during the hot summer months. I loved this simple twist using one of my favorite aperitifs, it would never had occurred to me!